MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hispanic Heritage month begins Tuesday.
Over the next four weeks WMC will bring you special coverage as part of our partnership with La Prensa Latina.
Hispanics make up 7.2% of the Memphis population according to Census data.
A community growing stronger each year says Mauricio Calvo, Executive Director of Latino Memphis.
“A significant growth starting in the 90′s, and we have now seen that growth to continue. First by migration and now probably more by birth, so there are more Latinos being born in Memphis than just arriving to Memphis by migration,” said Calvo.
September is a significant month for Latin American countries as they celebrate the anniversary of their independence.
In Memphis, celebrations will focus on the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
In a map created by the city of Memphis it shows the majority of local Hispanics live in East Memphis, with wide-reaching impact across the entire Mid-South.
“Latinos today work in every aspect of society from the hotel room to the operation room,” said Calvo.
Within Shelby County Schools 15% of students and 1% of it’s staff are Hispanic.
Monica Sánchez, artistic director with Cazateatro, celebrates the cultural impact Hispanics have had on the local arts scene.
“Casa Teatro is the only bilingual theatre group in Tennessee. We are the first one and the only ones at the moment,” said Sánchez.
Both Calvo and Sánchez say the Mid-South has been welcoming for many Hispanics but admit they still have a long way to go.
“So we have a long way to go when it comes to representation, politics, decision making, in just about any branch of government,” said Calvo.
Over the next 4 weeks WMC will introduce you to some outstanding Hispanic community leaders making an impact on the Mid-South.
We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage month September 15th through October 15th.